AFL Rd 4 - Melbourne v Geelong
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 11: Christian Salem of the Demons kicks during the round four AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 11, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Gun Demon Christian Salem has signed a massive five-year contract extension.

Melbourne confirmed the 25-year old’s new deal on Friday morning, tying him to the red and blue until the end of the 2026 season.

Demons list manager said Salem’s signature was massive for the club moving forward.

“We are absolutely rapt to have Christian commit his long-term future to the club,” List Manager, Tim Lamb told Melbourne Media.

“Given he would have been eligible for Free Agency at the end of this year it is significant that he has forgone that opportunity to extend his time here so early in the season.

“Christian has developed into a crucial player and we believe he still has significant growth in his game.

“He is a much loved and highly respected member of our playing group and we are excited to see what he can produce for the red and blue in the years to come.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Christian Salem of the Demons handballs during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch’s Paddock on September 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

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Originally taken with Pick 9 in the 2013 AFL draft, Salem has played 111 AFL games for Melbourne across eight seasons.

Salem has broken out as one of the game’s best rebounding defenders in the last few seasons and is having perhaps his best season to date in 2021.

The backman is averaging a career-best 24.6 disposals, 6.6 marks and 5.4 rebound 50s from five games.

It follows Melbourne’s re-signings of Clayton Oliver Jack Viney, Max Gawn, Kysaiah Pickett and Luke Jackson in recent times.